Bears @ Panthers – Staff Picks
Logan Bradley 3-2
Ryan Dengel 3-2
Mike Page 3-2
Jack Wright 1-4
Sean Fox 0-2
It’s time. The Bears are going to have a complete game this week and blow out Teddy Bridgewater and the Panthers in their home stadium. This prediction isn’t about the stats or observations from film study. It’s from the gut – something fans can sometimes forget how to use after drowning in numbers and X’s and O’s.
For each of our wins, we’ve been teetering on this ledge collapse. It’s no way to live life and play football. We can either step back and reaffirm our grounding, or we can stumble down the cliff to find ourselves battered and bruised, shoulder to shoulder with Matthew Stafford in Lions territory **Shutters**. I refuse to equate our squad to that piss poor excuse of a football team, and my gut says Nick Foles and our top rated Defense step back and punch the Panthers straight in the mouth. No stats. No in depth analysis. Just a dude with a feeling.
Prediction: Bears 34, Panthers 13
Listen, we all happily took an L last week. I for one am totally content with being wrong. This week the Bears had to Carolina and it sure looks like they SHOULD be able to run the ball over Carolina’s D. The question is, WILL Matt Nagy run the ball? I have been really critical of Nagy over his playcalling, but let me reiterate this: Matt Nagy is a damn good head coach. He is 24-13 in his time as the Bears head coach. The only Bears coach with more wins in his first 37 games? Papa Bear George Halas; that’s incredible company to have. Nagy’s players find a way to win ugly. I still think he should relinquish play-calling duties to someone else so he can focus on the big picture, but his teams are winning…
The Panthers are coming off a 3 game winning streak and the last time QB Teddy Bridgewater played against the Bears (then with the NO Saints), he led his team to a 36-25 beating of Nagy’s team behind 281 yards passing and two touchdowns. That being said, the Bears pass rush is starting to heat up and the Carolina run defense is really bad. I’m sticking with the beloved on this one. If they do win, maybe other football sites will stop putting the Bears lower on the power rankings than teams they’ve beaten…maybe.
Prediction: Bears 21, Carolina 17
Alright, a 3-2 record isn’t too bad!!
Oh, okay, I’m being told we’re 4-1. I had no idea.
Similar to Mr. Dengel’s prediction above me, I’m saying that this Bears-Panthers matchup will be predicated on the ground. The Panthers’ run-stuffing defensive tackle Kawann Short is undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery, ***hypothetically*** spelling good things for David Montgomery and the Bears. Of course, it doesn’t help not having James Daniels. So maybe those two equal each other out.
Nevertheless, I want to grab Matt Nagy by the face, Happy Gilmore-style, and scream at him to keep running the ball. Let your defense do their best to control Teddy Bridgewater (and potentially Christian McCaffrey), make one or two big plays and run the ball 15+ times with Monty.
Recipe for success, right?
Prediction: Bears 24, Panthers 23
Look, here’s the deal. I am not what you might call “good” at making predictions. My record indicates consistent suckage. I pick the Bears to lose and they win. I pick the Bears to win and they lose. Well, I am a Bears fan and prefer a Bears victory Monday all day everyday. Sunday’s game features two teams with similar characteristics. Points per game (CHI 21 – CAR 24.8), points against per game (CHI 20 – CAR 25.5), yards per game (CHI 323.2 – CAR 390.3), yards against per game (CHI 344 – CAR 352.3), and strength of schedule (CHI 21st – CAR 22nd) all awfully close. The difference will come down to turnover ratio (CHI -1 CAR +3). This is the week the Bears’ defence fully gels and forces turnovers, the offense reduces giveaways, and the Panthers lose the turnover differential and hence lose the game. So, I just completely f’d the Bears didn’t I?
Prediction: Bears 28, Panthers 21
The Bears are coming into Week 6 refreshed and well rested after a Thursday night classic with the Buccaneers that saw Tom Brady lose his first ever game to the Bears. They will visit another NFC South squad in the Carolina Panthers who are coming off three straight victories against the Charger, Cardinals and Falcons.
Teddy Bridgewater is coming into his own as the head of the Carolina offense but will have his toughest test against the Bears #1 pass defense. DJ Moore and Robbie Anderson present a formidable test to Jaylon Johnson and Kyle Fuller, but I would anticipate the Panthers looking to Mike Davis to establish the run game early as he will be hungry to prove the Bears were foolish in letting him go last season. Davis has looked great in place of Chrsitian McCaffrey the last three weeks and the Bears run D has not been as good as their pass D.
On offense, the Bears will look to get the run game going as the Panther D is allowing 133.4 YPG compared to 222.2 YPG through the air. They have rebounded the last three weeks holding their last three opponents to under 21 points in each game, including a dynamic Kyler Murray led offense in the Cardinals. I’d anticipate a heavy dose of Montgomery and Cordarelle Patterson on the ground from the Bears. This should be a close one, but I have the Bears taking the W.
Prediction: Bears 24, Panthers 20